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To Win Over Iowans, Gingrich Aims At Judges

GOP presidential contender Newt Gingrich has made overhauling the judiciary one of his key proposals on the stump. It's an issue that has special resonance in Iowa, where the judiciary became a potent political issue after the state Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage.
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Virginia Governor Unveils $84.9B Budget Proposal

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell unveiled his first state budget Monday -- a $84.9 billion proposal that features major contributions to the state retirement system and major adjustments to education funding.

NPR

Lawmakers Fight Over Perceived Christmas Tree Tax

Christmas tree growers are frustrated that politics are delaying a marketing campaign to promote real trees over artificial. Following four years of work to get it passed, the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved the industry-sponsored real Christmas tree campaign in November. But conservatives quickly branded it as "President Obama's Christmas tree tax," and the program was delayed within days of its approval. There are 18 other commodities — like pork and eggs — with similar generic advertising programs. They show anywhere from a two-to-one to a 10-to-one return on investment.
NPR

House Poised To Reject Budget Deal

Days after it seemed Congress had struck a budget, tax cut and unemployment deal that would get it through the holidays, it is clear that they did not. House Speaker John Boehner Monday must deal with a restive House GOP caucus that signaled over the weekend that it had no interest in going along with the Senate's two-month plan. NPR congressional correspondent David Welna joins Lynn Neary with the latest.

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